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Gifting Sunglasses: the Best Kinds to Give For Every Kind of Friend

Adults in the UK prefer giving and receiving tangible presents. The Independent reveals that givers buy an average of 32 gifts a year, ensuring the thought that goes into each one matches their monetary value. According to a 2023 Yell survey, that’s because over 68% of Brits prefer practical gifts above all. 

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All this makes sunglasses the ideal present for your loved ones, no matter the occasion. They’re incredibly functional: their ability to block out excess UV rays is crucial for helping you stay safe in the sun. At the same time, they’re extremely stylish—everyone from celebrities to the royal family uses them as key fashion accessories. 

Yet, with the vast options for sunglasses available on the market, you may be wondering which ones will best suit the friends you have in mind. This article breaks it down for you to make the decision process easier. 

Eco-conscious friends will love: sustainable sunglasses

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Sunglasses are often made out of plastic, meaning their improper disposal can contribute to the 2.5 million metric tons of plastic waste UK households generate each year. Your eco-conscious friends may be happy to learn that sustainable sunglasses exist—so why not gift them a pair? A great brand for this is Pela. Its sunglasses are made from recycled plastic waste, such as its phone cases, through a production process that uses less water and produces less waste and carbon emissions than the average sunglasses manufacturer. It even provides users with recycling services so sunglasses can be upcycled or recycled after your friend’s ready to pass them on!

Tech-savvy friends will love: smart glasses 

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Smart glasses are among the most futuristic gadgets available on the market today. They facilitate a hands-free experience for almost everything, making them an especially appealing present for tech-savvy friends who love to have the latest everything at their fingertips—or, in this case, in their field of view. The best part is there are also smart sunglasses you can get to satisfy their penchant for gadgetry. Just look at the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. Their unique social media integrations allow users to upload and even live stream first-person point-of-view photos and videos to Facebook and Instagram, while their advanced AI assistant works like a hands-free Siri but boasts additional features like real-time translation.

Fashionista friends will love: designer sunglasses

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This is the most straightforward tip on the list—the best sunglasses you can gift fashion-forward friends will come from designer brands. And even if you’re purchasing a pair based on their aesthetics, designer sunglasses also promise practicality. Luxury eyewear undergoes more rigorous quality control and craftsmanship than cheaper brands, so your present will last a good few years, if not decades. Take Prada’s 17WS, which was arguably among the most popular designer shades in 2023. Standing out with black geometric frames and embossed with Prada’s timeless logo, it’s edgy and versatile enough for both street and high-fashion wear. On the practical side, its durable yet oversized frames promise wearers extended UV protection for the eyes.  

Athletic friends will love: sports sunglasses 

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Regardless of the sports they play, your athletic friends likely spend most of their time outdoors. Here, they’re vulnerable to UV overexposure and the sun’s glare. This can cause temporary blindness through a condition known as photokeratitis or eye sunburn. That’s not to mention debris can enter and scratch the eyes during various outdoor activities, especially more involved ones like hiking. That’s why buying good sports sunglasses for athletic friends can be a good move. If your friend plays different sports, they may appreciate models like Panda Optics’ Multi Sport sunglasses. These come with flexible wraparound frames for all-around UV and debris protection and polarised lens coatings that cut out excess glare. Most notably, they’re packaged with three sets of interchangeable lenses with different specifications wearers can choose from depending on the visual acuity needed for a specific sport. 

Choosing the perfect gift for different types of friends can be tricky. Fortunately, sunglasses offer a range of options suitable for any lifestyle, so take advantage of that the next time you give out presents.